Featured Articles:

The Department of Justice Charges FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried in the Southern District of New York (II of IV)

Matt Stankiewicz, Partner at The Volkov Law Group, continues blog series on the collapse of FTX, looking at the criminal charges filed against founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.  He can be reached at [email protected] Following FTX’s stunning collapse, federal prosecutors have quickly taken steps to hold FTX’s founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (“SBF”) accountable.   On December 13, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a criminal...

Episode 255 — The Curious FCPA Case of Asante Berko

In 2020, Asante Berko settled his FCPA case with the SEC by agreeing to pay $329,000. In November of 2022, Berko arrived in London at Heathrow Airport and he was arrested. Berko had no idea that he had been indicted back in 2020 and the indictment remained under seal until he arrived, two years later, at Heathrow Airport. Berko was charged with conspiring with two...

The Fall of FTX: The Legal Ramifications of the Collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s Cryptocurrency Empire (I of IV)

Matt Stankiewicz, Partner at The Volkov Law Group, joins us with a comprehensive blog series that will breakdown the various legal issues facing the fallen cryptocurrency exchange FTX and its disgraced founder Sam Bankman-Fried.  He can be reached at [email protected] The cryptocurrency world is in shock watching the events unfold around the stunning collapse of FTX, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world.  The...

OFAC Due Diligence and Attestation Requirements (Part IV of IV)

OFAC’s guidance is intended to ease the burden on an otherwise difficult compliance problem.  Companies have to act in good faith to avoid transacting business involving Russian crude oil that has been sold above the $60 per barrel price cap.  For some industry players, compliance is straightforward.  However, for a number of players who do not normally have access to specific pricing information, due diligence...

Finding Safe Harbors Under OFAC’s Price Cap Regulations (Part III of IV)

The Biden Administration recognizes that the Russian Price-Cap Policy imposes serious burdens on U.S. energy companies and industries that provide ancillary services to the energy sector.  It is even more complicated given the EU framework and another set of guidance related to the oil price cap.  To ameliorate this burden, OFAC has set out detailed guidance on regulatory “safe harbors” for organizations and individuals affected...

Navigating Risky Waters: Compliance with OFAC’s New Price-Cap Policy (Part II of IV)

While OFAC is not always known for its clarity, the department is trying to make it easier for participants in global oil markets to comply with the Price-Cap Policy against Russian oil. This is not an easy task since there are a lot of risks to market participants who will need to develop elaborate and precise due diligence procedures and documentation to avoid OFAC enforcement...

United States and Allies Set Price Cap on Russian Oil — $60 Per Barrel (Part I of IV)

The G-7, the European Union and Australia officially announced a price cap on Russian oil, which includes service and shipping restrictions on oil originating from the Russian Federation and trading above $60 per barrel.  After months of negotiations among the nations, the countries finally reached an agreement on a cap that is designed to reduce revenue to Russia in response to the ongoing war in...

Episode 254 — Update on Export Controls and Sanctions: Interview with Alex Cotoia

This week’s show discusses recent developments in the sphere of export controls and sanctions. Alexander Cotoia, Regulatory Compliance Manager at the Volkov Law Group, joins Michael Volkov to explore the the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) ramping up of export control enforcement, including the new restrictions on China and Russia. In early October, the BIS announced two rules imposing significant export...

DOJ Promoting Enforcement and Compliance Message

Contrary to the often-repeated narrative, the Justice Department is transparent about its enforcement plans and compliance expectations.  Since the issuance of the FCPA Guidance in 2012, DOJ has continued to provide guidance on a number of important issues.  It also telegraphs its compliance priorities by acknowledging assignment of resources and creation of specific task forces.  Of course, DOJ can provide more transparency on a range...

Kraken Coughs Up $362,158 to OFAC to Settle Iran Sanctions Violations

Cryptocurrency companies are in trouble.  Regulators are bearing down on crypto companies with the Eye of Sauron – pulling the crypto companies into their jurisdiction, prosecuting fraud cases, and aggressively prosecuting companies for sanctions and anti-money laundering violations.  One by one you can bet that crypto companies will be in the enforcement headlines.  As they fall, policy makers can point to their continuing excesses as...